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Ian Hallard to play William Shakespeare in The Hope Theatre's Foul Pages

Ian Hallard

Casting news

IAN Hallard is to take the lead role of William Shakespeare in the world premiere of Robin Hooper’s Foul Pages. Directed by Matthew Parker, it runs at The Hope Theatre from February 20 to March 17, 2018.

Hallard, who was nominated for the What’s On Stage Best Actor award for The Park Theatre’s acclaimed production Boy’s From the Band, last appeared on The Hope Theatre in 2015 as Alan Turing in Snoo Wilson’s Lovesong Of The Electric Bear, also directed by Parker.

He is joined by Greg Baxter (A Comedy of Errors and A Taste Of Honey, Royal National Theatre), Thomas Bird (Forty Years On, Chichester Festival Theatre), Claire Bloomer (Afterplay, The Bridewell Theatre, Always Tuesday, Southwark Playhouse), Lewis Chandler (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Creation Theatre), Jack Harding (Sea Life, The Hope Theatre) James King (Drama Studio) Olivia Onyehera (Pride and Prejudice, Nottingham Playhouse, Private Lives, The Mercury Theatre) and Tom Vanson (Drama Studio).

Foul Pages takes place in 1603, the plague is ravaging London, scattering the court to the rural countryside of Wiltshire and delaying the coronation of the soon to be King James I. While actors rehearse, despite backstage squabbles and sexual politics, Shakespeare and the Countess of Pembroke struggle with the rewrites of As You Like It, which must appeal to the new king’s merciful nature and seduce him into releasing the condemned Sir Walter Raleigh.

Ian Hallard said: “I can’t quite believe it’s already been three years since I last worked with the supremely talented and imaginative Matthew Parker in the late Snoo Wilson’s Lovesong of the Electric Bear. On that occasion, Matthew gave me the wonderful opportunity of playing Alan Turing, so I’m delighted to be returning to the Hope Theatre to play yet another British genius: this time William Shakespeare in Robin Hooper’s sexy, quirky comedy Foul Pages. The Hope really is the little theatre with big ideas, and this production looks set to be its most ambitious yet.”

Read more about Foul Pages.